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Bashir Abdi runs European marathon record in Rotterdam

The reigning Olympic bronze medalist won the NN Rotterdam Marathon in 2:03:36

On a cool, sunny morning in Rotterdam, Holland, Belgium’s Bashir Abdi won the NN Rotterdam Marathon in a new European record time of 2:03:36. This was his first race since winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Marathon this summer.


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The 32-year-old won the race by 28 seconds, but it wasn’t without a fight. With 10K to go, Kenya’s Marius Kipserem, who is a two-time winner of the race and the previous course record-holder, looked like he was going to take the win for the third time. Abdi then turned on the gas in the final stages of the race to overtake Kipserem, taking down both the course record and European record set by Turkey’s Kaan Kigen Ozbilen in 2019 in 2:04:16. Abdi is now the first European to run under 2:04.

“The crowd went crazy at certain parts. They called my name. That gave me goosebumps. It motivated me,” Abdi said in an interview with European Athletics after the race.

Abdi’s performance puts him at 14th on the world all-time list. Kipserem finished behind Abdi in second place in 2:04:04, and Ethiopia’s Dawit Wolde rounded out the podium in 2:04:27.

The women’s race

Kenya’s Stella Barsosio ran the majority of the race solo to break the tape in 2:22:08, a new personal best. Nataliya Lehonkova of Ukraine finished behind her in second place in 2:30:28 and Kenya’s Bornes Kitur took third in 2:30:41.

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